Berlins digital exiles: where tech activists go to escape the NSA
Sun 9 Nov 2014, 11:40

With its strict privacy laws, Germany is the refuge of choice for those hounded by the security services. Carole Cadwalladr visits Berlin to meet Laura Poitras, the director of Edward Snowden film Citizenfour, and a growing community of surveillance refuseniks.

Germany has some of the strongest laws in the world when it comes to surveillance and privacy. It is illegal for the foreign security service, the BND, to spy on its own citizens. But, the NSA has had bases in Germany since 1945 and there are no laws that govern its behaviour.

Continue reading...

German Leistungsschutzrecht used to prohibit publication of copyright infringement evidence
Tue 24 Mar 2015, 16:52

In a German first court decision about Leistungsschutzrecht (also known as Lex-Google), a copyright holder was prohibited to use a screenshot as evidence for copyright violation.


Google ordered by German authority to change privacy practices
Wed 8 Apr 2015, 19:00

A German data protection authority has ordered Google to change how it handles users’ private data in the country by the end of the year.

The administrative order was issued on Wednesday by the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Johannes Caspar, in order to force Google to comply with German data protection law and give users more control over their data.

Google started combining existing policies for various services when it changed its privacy policy in 2012, despite the concerns of European Union data protection authorities. At least six authorities then started formal investigations into the new policy; Hamburg was one of those six.


German blog under investigation for treason
Thu 30 Jul 2015, 00:20

German domestic security service has pressed charges of treason against, one of Germany’s most influential digital rights blogs, as a result of two articles it posted earlier this year. The articles reported on leaked documents regarding the German government’s mass surveillance plans. The German criminal code considers the leaking of state secrets to a foreign power, or to anyone else with the intention of damaging the Republic, to be treason.

Ongoing debate on governmental plans for new data retention law
Wed 27 May 2015, 12:00

The federal government plans to enact a law on data retention. According to the draft law, information on the user’s phone calls, text messages and Internet connection shall be recorded and saved for ten weeks. Information that allows to track a person shall be saved for four weeks. The draft law is criticised by opposition, business representatives and privacy groups.

IT-Security Law: Expert consultation in the German Bundestag
Mon 20 Apr 2015, 18:02

On 20th April 2015, there was a consultation regarding the draft of the IT-security law in the German Bundestag. The majority of the experts stated that the plan to establish a law enhancing the IT-security would be desirable. The draft law especially aims at protecting critical infrastructures by requiring operators of critical infrastructure to fulfil certain minimum standards for IT-security. However, the draft law was also criticised: The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) stated that the law would only aim at avoiding attacks against enterprises, but not against private persons. The Federal Association of the German Industry further criticised that the term “critical infrastructures” is not defined in the draft law so that it would be unclear what exactly needs to be protected.